How To Dispose Of Horse Manure? (TOP 5 Tips)

Dump the manure in 3-foot-by-3-foot piles in a out-of-the-way location near the barn. Placing the piles near the barn makes transporting the manure easier and more efficient. Add a heat source such as the summer sun. Add water to the manure with a hose, or in the rainy season, let nature take its course.

How to compost manure in thirty days?

  • The average compost temperature should be maintained between 54-66 degrees Celsius.
  • The carbon-nitrogen ratio should be balanced i.e.,approx.
  • The height of the compost heap should be 1.5m high and 1m x 1m wide.
  • If the carbon component such as tree branches are high in compost,ensure breaking them properly with a mulcher.

How do I get rid of horse manure?

Often, suburban horse facilities have limited or no acreage for disposal of manure and soiled bedding. Several alternatives for handling manure include land disposal, stockpiling for future handling, removal from stable site, and composting. Some stables have developed markets to distribute or sell the stall waste.

Is horse manure considered hazardous waste?

Horse manure is a solid waste excluded from federal EPA solid waste regulation because it neither contains significant amounts of hazardous chemicals, nor exhibits hazardous characteristics. The chemical constituents of horse manure are not toxic to humans.

What do you do with horse manure in pasture?

Using manure You can use manure onsite by spreading it as a fertilizer on an open area, pasture or field. You can also haul manure offsite for fertilizing or composting. Use caution when spreading manure on pastures grazed by horses. Don’t spread manure on pastures if there are more than 1 horse per 2 acres.

Can you burn horse manure?

Yes —really! Horse manure can be used as a fuel source for burning. A writer for Backwoods Home chronicles their journey creating “bricks” from horse manure to later burn as a heat source.

Do landfills take horse manure?

Unfortunately, significant quantities of horse manure and bedding are hauled to landfills each year.

Can I spread horse manure on my lawn?

Never use fresh horse manure as fertilizer on your lawn, garden, or any other area. Composted horse manure is dark brown and crumbly and does not resemble manure at all. Mix this manure compost with garden soil for the best results. Manure compost is an ineffective fertilizer when spread on top of your lawn.

What diseases can you catch from horse manure?

Zoonotic Diseases & Horses

  • Campylobacter. Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of gastroenteritis worldwide and can be transmitted from horses to people via activities such as cleaning their stalls and grooming.
  • Cryptosporidosis.
  • Pigeon Fever.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • West Nile Virus.
  • Prevention.

Can you get salmonella from horse manure?

How do horses get Salmonella? Horses may acquire the bacteria from other horses or other animals. Transmission is by the fecal-oral route, which means manure from one animal (not necessarily a horse) was ingested by another – this usually happens when the manure contaminates a feed or water source.

Is there E. coli in horse manure?

A source of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, horse manure may also contain pathogens (including E. coli) that can be hazardous to human health. When manure is not managed properly, these contaminants can make their way into our water and cause problems.

What is the fastest way to break down horse manure?

If your horse manure includes wood chips or sawdust, consider layering the material with grass clippings (a good nitrogen source) to speed the process. Manure alone or with straw will decompose readily on its own.

How long does it take for horse manure to rot down?

It generally takes between three and six months for the material to fully compost.

Why should you poop pick a horse’s field?

When horses are grazing around piles of manure, they can easily ingest worms that end up in their digestive tracts. This is why it is imperative to poo pick your fields on a regular basis, therefore reducing the chance of your horse obtaining worms.

Do you have to pick up horse manure?

Horse riders are not required by law to pick up their horses’ manure on the streets or during trail rides. Whereas dog owners have a legal duty to clean up every time their dog messes in a public place, with the exemption of people who are registered blind.

Can you light manure on fire?

The heat that builds in a manure pile kills harmful bacteria like E. coli, leaving nutrient-rich fertilizer free of pathogens. Or it erupts into fire. Humans don’t spontaneously combust, but manure does.

How to Control Horse Manure Piles

If you own a horse, you are well aware that manure is inevitable. During a typical day, the average-sized Dobbin generates roughly 40 pounds of horse dung. Multiply the figure by 30 days to get a monthly total. When you double that figure by 12 months, you get more than 7 tons of garbage every year. If you have more than one horse, you’re talking about tonnage in the double digits. Batman, you’re a wuss! What are you going to do with that pile of, uh, things? Kate Light is a young woman who has a bright future ahead of her.

We put the question out on the Internet, and a number of other horse manure managers chimed in.

So put down your pitchfork and continue reading!

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  • What You Should Do: Begin a compost pile.
  • You may also incorporate yard/garden clippings and food waste from the kitchen, such as vegetable peelings, in your compost pile.
  • For example, you may reduce the size of your garbage pile by half in a couple of months by composting it.
  • How to Go About It: Here’s what our horse manure managers have come up with thus far.
  • Construct a composting system. An 8-by-8-foot square area surrounded by three 5-foot walls will hold the waste of one horse, according to conventional wisdom. (You may need to make adjustments to make room for your equine population.) Although you can start a compost pile on unimproved ground, a concrete pad will make it easier to manage the pile with a tractor in the future. This will be discussed in greater detail later.) Construct walls out of concrete, cinder block, or 2-by-10s that have been treated. If you’re short on time and money (and who isn’t these days? ), our manure managers recommend starting a compost pile on raw ground and without the use of container walls. Decomposition, on the other hand, may be slowed. When manure is piled deep enough from end to end, heat can accumulate and accelerate the breakdown process. This is known as containment. When using a free-standing compost pile, cover it with black plastic to help it absorb more of the sun’s heat. Then begin piling your horse manure into the composting bin. In order to speed up decomposition, keep your compost pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge at all times. You can control its moisture content by spraying it with a hose from time to time, and/or by covering it with a plastic tarp when necessary to protect it from excessive rain or drying sunlight
  • However, this is not recommended. It should be aerated. You’ll need to “stir” the pile in order to achieve rapid and even decomposition. When you do this, air combines with the moist organic matter, causing it to decay more quickly. You’ll also spread heat and bacteria throughout the pile, so cooler, bacteria-poor areas can join the party. You can achieve aeration in two ways: manual and passive. If you have a tractor with a front-end loader, you can manually stir the pile every week or 2. The more often you turn it, the sooner you convert that pile of puckey into rich soil. If you don’t have a tractor, turning the pile with a shovel will achieve the same result-but it’s a lot of darn work

Manual exertion is not required for passive aeration. In lieu of this, place numerous 4- to 6-inch diameter PVC pipes (the sort with holes in them, like those used for septic systems) at the base of your compost pile before you begin composting. You may also put many pipes, chimney-style, into the middle of the pile, which will serve as its core. The greater the number of pipes used, the greater the amount of aeration that happens. The upside is that you are transforming garbage into a soil that is rich in usable products.

  • A reader’s Northwestern town reports that compost sells for $8 per cubic yard, undelivered, and $11.50 per cubic yard, delivered, from the local dirt dealer.
  • In addition, the heat destroys weed seeds from hay and bedding, as well as any undigested oats, making the compost an excellent addition to flower and vegetable gardens.
  • Downside: Proper composting takes time and effort due to the need to check moisture levels and provide enough aeration.
  • The amount of time it takes your compost to “cook” is determined by the weather and the amount of garbage it contains.
  • Is it combined with thick wood shavings, which are more difficult to decompose?
  • Cost: Depending on the size of your compost retainer and whether you choose a cement slab with cement, cinder-block, or treated-wood walls, your compost retainer can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 or more.
  • For pipe, passive aeration will cost you no more than $25 or less.

(Tip: Any money you spend on your compost pile can be recouped through the sale of the byproducts produced by it.) Solution 2: Make it widely available.

Spreaders break down and disperse manure and bedding by the use of a belt mechanism.

How to Go About It: Purchase a spreader first.

In order to operate the shred and spread technology, a tractor with a PTO hookup is required to be used.

Ground-driven spreaders disseminate manure by slapping the ground with a beater-driver as the spreader rolls along, then flinging trash out the back end.

Advantage: Because there is no need for composting, your manure pile is lowered every time you hook up the spreader.

(You may also use your spreader to disperse the composted soil that you generated in Solution1.) The disadvantage is that if you don’t have a pasture, you’ll have to find a nearby, acceptable neighbor’s property to use for spreading the horse dung.

Consequently, you’ll most certainly be bringing parasites to grazing areas, so make sure your horses are dewormed on a regular basis.

The presence of equine parasites is not a concern in cattle, hence contamination is not an issue.) You’ll also end up with a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio that’s too high for your soil if you have a high proportion of shavings to manure in your stall waste.

If you have a lot of shavings-rich waste, combine it with an additional source of nitrogen, such as blood meal, bone meal, or direct nitrogen fertilizer, before spreading it.

When it comes to towing (if you don’t have a vehicle or ATV), a basic lawn tractor with 10 horsepower will cost you roughly $2,500.

Used ones in pretty excellent condition may be found for as little as $10,000, depending on the model.

Why It Is Effective: Every time you move him out of a paddock or stall and onto an area that needs fertilization, you’re making a significant contribution to lowering Mount Manure’s altitude.

(Plus, your horse will be happier as a result of this!) How to Do It: Expel him from the building!

(One horse generates around $150 worth of fertilizer in a single calendar year.) As an added plus, your horse will be able to obtain his daily exercise.

In addition, you’ll extend the life of your stall bedding by doing so.

Furthermore, if your horse is one of those that consistently defecate in the same tiny location, you may still need to scatter the heaps on a regular basis.

Cost: If your pasture is tiny and/or your horse usually defecate in the same location, you should rent or purchase a spring-tooth or split-tooth harrow to break up and disseminate dung to make it more evenly distributed.

It is possible to purchase a used harrow for less than $100 at equipment auctions.

Offer it up as a fourth option.

Why It Is Effective: Something that one person considers garbage is someone else’s treasure.

How to Go About It: Advertise in the lawn and garden section of your local newspaper on a regular basis.

Contact orchards and farms in your area to see if they’d be interested in picking up your “fertilizer” on a regular basis.

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The good news is that your dung mound will be carried away for free.

Keep in mind that the best place to locate the going pricing for manure or compost in your region is in the lawn and garden section of your local newspaper.

It’s possible that if your plan is effective, you’ll have to rearrange your schedule to accommodate manure searchers.

That implies you’ll have to hope for (and deal with) either a large number of people who want a small amount of manure, or a small number of people who are capable of hauling large chunks of your pile away.

Solution number five: bury it.

Why It Is Effective: It’s the polar opposite of a stomping ground!

How to Go About It: In your barnyard’s topography, identify or develop a location where manure may be put to fill in and enhance soil areas, if necessary.

Just keep in mind that you don’t want to fill up or obstruct any naturally helpful drainage regions in the process.

If you have access to a natural ditch area—or the ability to construct an artificial ditch—manure disposal can be a handy and low-maintenance method of managing manure.

This is especially true if there will be horses or people strolling through the area during the day.

The cost of bulldozer or backhoe services varies from location to location, but on average, they cost $65 per hour.

Nobody would want to be wounded if they were to fall into the hole!

You may reduce the quantity of bedding you use by doing the following: Why It Is Effective: In general, the less matter that is mixed with manure, the easier cleanup will be and the smaller the waste pile will be.

Once the mats are in place, you might want to try bedding simply the areas where your horse tends to urinate rather than filling the whole stall with bedding.

These biodegrade at a rate that is ten times quicker than shavings.

Additionally, it is free for the hauling!) Advantage: You’ll save money on bedding because you’ll be using it less frequently.

In addition, alternative beddings are frequently less expensive than wood shavings and are typically more absorbent.

The downside is that stall mats may be expensive additions to your barn, despite the fact that they should ultimately save you money on bedding expenditures.

In addition, you will not have a stall with a lot of bedding.

(If you can get your hands on some rubber conveyor belting from your local concrete-making company, it will work almost as well and will be far less expensive.) Look for belting that is at least 36 inches wide in order to provide the most ground coverage.) Alternative bedding is frequently provided at no cost for the hauling.

  1. What You Should Do: Determine the location of a waste removal service.
  2. It is picked up and hauled away on a regular basis by the service.
  3. (First, inquire with the service to determine whether such garbage is permitted.) If you have a lot of horses, you might want to consider hiring a dumpster.
  4. There’s no muss or hassle.
  5. One disadvantage is that your waste service may refuse to transport manure.
  6. In addition, you must deal with the logistics of loading your manure into the receptacle, which can be difficult.
  7. (Tip: If you board your horses, you can divide the cost of the dumpster rental among the other boarders.) F The editors express their gratitude to Alayne Blickle, program director for the Horses for Clean Water organization, which is funded by the state of Washington.

This article first appeared in the May 1999 issue of HorseRidermagazine, and has been updated.

Horse Manure and Bedding: What Can I Do With It? — Snohomish Conservation District

-Return to the Soundtrack Helpful Horsekeeping Hints and Tips It is crucial to note that manure and bedding both have a valuable “after-life” that contributes to make horse ownership both safer for the environment and more cost effective for the owner. As livestock owners, we must exercise extreme caution to ensure that we do not cause more harm than good to our land and water resources, which are delicate and valuable. There are several applications for reusing animal manure and stall bedding, therefore converting a waste into a resource.

If you decide for the first option, look into commercial compost facilities that will accept animal dung in exchange for a small charge.

If you are in charge of manure management on your farm, you have three good alternatives (as well as numerous terrible ones!).

Composted Bedding for Stalls

Using composted bedding in your horse stalls as a practical and cost-effective alternative to wood shavings or pellets will help you save money on your stall expenses. For this project, the Snohomish Conservation District secured funds from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program, which allowed them to collaborate with multiple commercial equestrian facilities in Snohomish County to evaluate composted bedding for horses. Through composting and reusing, we discovered that stables bedding made of wood shavings can recover up to 80 percent of the stall waste generated, but typical stables bedding made of wood pellets can only recover up to 50 percent.

  • A large decrease in the price of disposal and new bedding may be achieved in this manner!
  • It has a soft and fluffy texture, as well as a wonderful earthy scent, and it is quite absorbent.
  • It is also environmentally friendly.
  • Please see the following link for further information about composted bedding, which includes a short video:.
  • For example, several dairies frequently pick up leftover horse bedding from huge horse stables and utilize it as cow bedding in their herds.

This is a wonderful alternative for farms with a variety of animals, as well as for big stables that require a considerable amount of bedding and have space for short-term storage of feed and bedding.

Invest in Your Soil and Pastures

Applying organic manure to your soil and pasture can help to enhance the overall health of your property. In most cases, animals’ excrement contains the majority of the nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and so on) that they eat. All forms of livestock manure have been used to improve soil and nourish crops for as long as people have been cultivating their lands. While these nutrients are necessary for plant growth, if they get up in our streams, lakes, or well water, they can cause major difficulties for everyone who consumes the water.

Organic matter enhances the structure and workability of soils, as well as providing food for soil bacteria to feed on.

For additional information on soil health, please see the following website:

Turn Your Waste into Someone Else’s Gold

The use of composted horse manure is in high demand among gardeners and landscapers because of its high quality. Keep in mind that if you wish to sell your manure, it must be well composted and devoid of weed seeds, as well as containing just the bare minimum of bedding materials. A compost that has an excessive amount of bedding combined with your manure is less enticing to gardeners and is better suited for use as a mulch than than a soil builder. SCD maintains a Manure Share list in order to connect manure “producers” with manure “users.” If you would like further information, please contact your Farm Planner.

  1. This, along with other practices such as rotating pastures, using gutters, putting fence along streams, and giving sacrifice areas, all contribute to healthy horses, clean water, happy neighbors, and a beautiful, thriving farm environment.
  2. Questions?
  3. To contact the Snohomish Conservation District’s farm planners, please call 425-335-5634 or send an email to [email protected].
  4. Idea 03 for Good Horsekeeping The Snohomish Conservation District brings you Better Ground as a service to the community.

Solve the Horse Manure Pile Problem

It wasn’t long after Anna and Brian Smith of Camden, North Carolina, finished construction on their barn in 2007 that the couple noticed there was an issue. As a result of having four horses in the house, “the manure was really stacking up,” according to Anna. Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore is a model and actress. Keeping horses can drain your bank account, take your time, and deplete your vitality, but one thing you can count on is a constant supply of horse dung in ever-increasing quantities. Each horse generates around 50 pounds of the substance every day, amounting to more than eight tons per year.

What are your plans for all of this?

In this section, with Carrie’s assistance, we’ll go through the most effective methods of eliminating your horse dung mound.

Why It Matters

For many years, horse barns had a pile of manure in the back or occasionally even in the front yard of their facilities. That isn’t something you see very frequently anymore, for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Parasites. Strongyles, roundworms, and other intestinal parasites can lay their eggs in manure, which can be harmful to livestock. It is possible for the eggs (or larvae that hatch from them) to pollute pastures, feed, or water, and infect other horses if they are not handled appropriately
  • Pests Stable flies, face flies, houseflies, and numerous other varieties of flies breed on manure piles, which makes them ideal breeding habitats. They can also provide as comfortable digging places for rodents.
  • The quality of the water. Agricultural waste containing excessive nutrients and other toxins can flow into streams, lakes and ponds when it is not properly handled, disrupting the biological balance and causing environmental harm.
  • Regulations. In addition to federal restrictions governing manure management and water quality, Carrie points out that there are also state and municipal regulations in place. “Depending on where you are, these may or may not have an impact on horse operations,” she continues. “The regulating agency differs from state to state as well, but the county Extension agent should be able to clarify the rules specific to the county in question.” Aesthetics is the art of looking good. The presence of a manure pile will have little impact on the value of your home or your relationships with your neighbors, and the stench will have much less impact. As the manure slowly molders inside a conventional pile, it emits foul byproducts like as methane gas, which is harmful to the environment.

A strong manure management program can help you prevent or at the very least reduce the severity of these issues. In addition, because horse dung contains minerals that plants require, it may be an extremely important resource. Horse manure management, on the other hand, may be complicated, and what works for one barn may not work as well for another. Make sure your program is tailored to your specific needs.

Spread It

Manure includes nutrients for plant development and has the potential to enhance the soil’s condition, so why not put it to good use? If you have a lot of land, a tractor, and a manure spreader, this is a good option. The way it works is as follows: In certain cases, manure may be applied directly to your fields, where it will break down and provide nutrients to the soil over time. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Spread it out thinly. Based on soil testing, just the amount of fertilizer necessary to develop your property should be applied. Manure should be applied in the spring and summer, not while the ground is frozen or during rainy seasons, when it may simply wash away from the soil. (This will necessitate the storage of stall waste at various intervals.) Spreading fresh manure on fields where horses will be grazing in the near future is not a good idea. In certain cases, parasite eggs may be present, and they can live for several weeks or months depending on the environment. It will, however, have no effect on pastures that are being rested or grazed by other species. (A strong deworming regimen, including fecal egg counts to assess progress, will reduce the likelihood of this occurring.) Spreading in floodplains or other regions where water runs seasonally or after rains is prohibited, as is spreading near wellheads and other groundwater sources, in areas where the water table is high, or on slopes bordering streams and ponds If your fresh stall waste contains sawdust or wood shavings, fertilize with nitrogen to ensure a healthy crop. When wood products decompose, the microbes that break them down take nitrogen from the soil, which can limit plant development. The impact is counteracted with nitrogen fertilizer. Alternatively, to entirely prevent the problem, compost manure before spreading it.
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To learn more about soil testing and building a nutrient management plan for your farm, contact your local Cooperative Extension office. A nutrient management plan will explain your farm’s manure production, soil fertility, and suggested manure application rates. It is possible to get assistance from your local soil and water conservation districts or a local chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in identifying seasonal wetlands and other sensitive locations where manure should not be applied.

Compost It

Composting converts stall wastes into a ready-to-use, nutrient-dense soil enhancer that is rich in organic matter. “It’s the most environmentally friendly alternative,” Carrie claims. “As a valuable resource, manure can help to minimize or eliminate the requirement for commercial fertilizer applications on agricultural land. In addition, properly composting your manure will eliminate weed seeds and parasite eggs that have been laid.” Use it directly on your property, and you’ll have no issue giving it away or even selling the extra to gardeners and farmers in your neighborhood if you have a surplus.

  • Carrie explains that composting is simply “controlled breakdown.” Using aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria, you may swiftly break down stall wastes without producing any unpleasant byproducts while also creating heat that kills parasite eggs and weed seeds.
  • They will, however, work for you if you give them with the proper supplies and working circumstances.
  • Composting is a particularly attractive option if your property is located in an environmentally sensitive location, which was a major concern for Brian and Anna Smith, who live on the coast of North Carolina.
  • The way it works is as follows: Compost systems may be customized to fit the needs of any size farm.
  • Many small horse ranches find that a three-bin arrangement works effectively for them.

Finally, empty the third bin and begin putting up waste in it while the bacteria in the first bin begin doing their magic, and the waste in the second bin begins to heal. Carrie believes that the way you construct and manage your compost system is critical. The fundamentals are as follows:

  • A critical mass has been reached. As a general guideline, the pile’s base width should be twice its height
  • For example, a pile 10 feet wide and 5 feet high would be appropriate. If you want to attain active composting temperatures, you need a pile that is at least 4 feet square and 4 feet deep.
  • Thermodynamics. Between 110 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the microorganisms are most active, and prolonged temperatures of 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the pile interior can destroy parasite eggs and weed seeds. An increase in temperature that occurs gradually indicates that the germs have completed their task Compost thermometers (available at garden centers or online) should be used to monitor the temperature of the pile. Oxygen. Turning heaps using a pitchfork or a tractor on a weekly basis, or if the interior temperatures dip above or below the active composting range, is an excellent way to introduce air. Alternatively, static piles can be constructed using perforated PVC pipes stretched over the foundation with the ends projecting to pull in air. Despite the fact that static heaps do not require rotating, composting takes longer in this manner. One such possibility is an aerated static-pile system, which is comprised of automated electric blowers that circulate air via perforated pipes beneath the piles of dirt. Although the initial cost of using this approach is higher, it produces compost more quickly and requires less labor than turning piles. Moisture: Compost piles should be approximately as moist as a wrung-out sponge
  • They should not be soggy or crumbly, and they should not smell bad. Covering your piles will assist in maintaining regular moisture levels. “People who live in really dry conditions may find that they need to add water to their compost piles,” Carrie explains. Ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the atmosphere: The amount and kind of bedding that ends up in your heaps impacts this ratio, which has an impact on the pace at which your piles decompose. Compost should have a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of between 20:1 and 40:1 (carbon to nitrogen). Horse manure with no bedding has a 25:1 ratio
  • Oat straw has a 48:1 ratio
  • And wood products have a 500:1 ratio. If you pile up a lot of wood shavings in your heaps, the activity will be slowed down. Even if you have adequate oxygen and moisture, compost will still be produced
  • However, you may speed up the process by using less bedding, switching to a different type of bedding, or adding nitrogen (in the form of urea) to your heaps.

Carrie also points out that if the compost is mixed uniformly, it decomposes more effectively. In the case of static piles, which aren’t rotated, this is very significant. Some farms employ a temporary storage facility to combine materials prior to adding them to the pile of materials. “In really cold regions, composting will take longer over the winter months, and farmers may need to make provisions for larger storage rooms,” she explains. “However, the fundamental fundamentals remain the same.” Tip: State and municipal restrictions might have an impact on the functioning of a composting facility.

Consult your local planning office as well as your state’s departments of agriculture, environmental protection, and natural resources for further information.

Haul It Away

Trucking manure away from the site is the quickest and most convenient solution, though it is not always the most affordable. If you have a large number of horses but do not have a lot of land or time to deal with manure, this is a good option. The way it works is as follows: In the event that you do not have a dump truck, you can load manure and stall waste into a trailer and transport the entire load to a commercial composting facility. Some facilities charge a fee for dropping off the load, while others will pick up the load for free.

  • In many areas, commercial waste services will provide a roll-off container for the waste and will haul it away once the container is completely full.
  • Containers with capacities of 12, 20, and 30 cubic yards are common.
  • The cost of the service varies, but it can cost several hundred dollars per month for containers of that size.
  • According to Carrie, “the vast majority of the time, manure that is hauled away by commercial operations is composted and reused.” It doesn’t end up in landfills very often, in my experience.
  • They may be able to put you in touch with farmers who will accept manure or biomass facilities that will turn organic waste into energy, which is a relatively new but rapidly expanding application for stall waste.

For example, Mid-Michigan Recycling picks up used shavings and manure for delivery to the Genesee Power Station in Flint, a facility that processes wood waste to produce electricity. (Details are online at.)

What’s Best for You?

It is dependent on the size of your herd and the resources available to you, including your acreage, equipment, and financial resources. According to Carrie, “If you have one acre and two horses, you’re going to be creating more manure than the soil can take.” “The same horses, on four acres, may do well with composting and manure application back to the land, though. (See illustration.) With twenty acres, you could certainly forgo the composting and apply the fertilizer straight to the fields, while rotating the horses among a number of different paddocks.” According to her, the best place to get personalized counsel is through your local Extension office.

  1. For Brian and Anna Smith, the solution was an aerated three-bin composting system created by O2Compost (), a Snohomish, Washington-based company that also supplied how-to guidance and support.
  2. The Smiths employ wood-pellet bedding in matting stalls to ensure that their compost has the proper combination of nutrients.
  3. Several times a day, she chooses paddocks and feeds the manure to the compost bins.
  4. Once the blower system is operational, Brian checks the temperature of the pile for a period of 30 days while it cooks in the oven.
  5. The completed compost has a texture similar to that of dirt and an earthy fragrance.
  6. Manure on their farm is no longer a polluting sight due to recent improvements.
  7. This story first published in the December 2011 edition of Practical Horseman.

Manure Management: Learn How to Deal with Horse Manure

There’s no getting around it. If you have horses, you will have manure on your hands. The average horse excretes roughly 50 pounds of dung each day, which equates to approximately nine tons of manure per year. Smart horse dung management is essential for effective fly control, as well as for environmental preservation and protection. When it comes to manure management, the most common error horse owners make is not actually managing it, but instead simply allowing dung to accumulate on their property.

It’s possible that it’s even against the law.

According to Alayne Blickle, creator and director of Horses for Clean Water, an internationally-acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners, “there are legislation in practically every jurisdiction that prohibit stockpiling of manure and stall debris.”


In the words of Blickle, “one of the greatest solutions is to compost manure and organic waste, which is feasible even if you only have one horse.” He also points out that correctly managing manure means less mud in the winter and fewer flies in the summer. Composting the garbage generated by your market booth can cut the volume by nearly half. It is possible to construct or acquire a composting bin in order to retain the manure and garbage in situ. Pesticide-resistant parasite larvae and eggs, weed seeds, and disease-causing bacteria are all killed by the heat created by the composting process.

Consult your local county extension office or conservation office for information on how to properly compost your horse’s manure.

Simply enter your county’s name and the terms “conservation district” or “extension office” into Google to find out more.

Manure Removal Services

To discover horse manure removal services in your region, search for “horse manure removal near me.” You may also inquire with local waste and shavings supply firms, as some of them may provide a fee-based service for picking up and hauling manure. An example of how a manure removal service often operates is that the provider places a huge container near the barn in a convenient location where you may deposit manure and stall debris on a daily basis. The firm comes to collect up the waste on a regular basis, and it is usually taken away to a composting or topsoil business.

Manure Handling Don’ts

Maintaining a large stockpile of manure on your property produces an unappealing, stinking, and bacteria-filled breeding ground for flies. It also has the potential to cause runoff, leaching, and pollution of groundwater and surface water. Flies seek out wet organic material to eat on and deposit their eggs in, and the larvae of these insects use manure as a food source as well. The removal of the dung pile disrupts the fly life cycle, resulting in a reduction in the number of flies. For the reasons stated by Blickle, “we need to conceive of manure as a valuable resource that is truly a secondary advantage of owning animals.” Waste disposal in landfills is prohibited unless it is done in a “sanitary landfill,” which is one that has impermeable liners to prevent toxins from leaching/running out and causing contamination of groundwater and other environmental issues.

As a result of the same reasoning, you should reconsider dragging pastures.

You disseminate infective larvae throughout pastures where horses graze when you pull (harrow) fields to break up dung mounds, which can actually aid parasite proliferation.

In the event that you must drag, do it only during hot or dry weather, and keep horses off the field for at least two weeks, preferably four.

Valuable Resource

Despite the fact that your horse is a dung factory, you may turn that manure to your benefit by adjusting your approach. Blickle points out that we should “see manure as a useful resource that is truly a secondary advantage of owning cattle.” Cleaning your horse’s stall, while we’re on the subject of dung, may actually provide you with valuable information about the health of your horse provided you know what to look for. A difference in the amount of manure produced, as well as its look and consistency, are all indicators that should be noted.

Manure Management Tip1 – Reduce Flies

By eliminating a major breeding location for flies, proper manure management, whether by removal or composting, can help restrict the spread of the insects. It is possible to take further efforts to reduce the fly population by using a feed-thru fly control product such as Farnam’s SimpliFly, which interrupts the fly life cycle by preventing larvae from maturing into adult flies. SimpliFly should be used beginning in early spring and continuing throughout the summer and until winter weather reduces fly activity.

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Manure Management Tip2 – Rethink Pasture Dragging

Horses will naturally avoid grazing in places where they defecate, so many horse owners drag their pastures in order to break up and spread out the manure heaps on their property. While this may make the pasture appear more attractive, it can also aid in the proliferation of parasites by spreading infective larvae over regions where horses do graze on a regular basis. It is best to drag the pasture during hot and dry weather and then keep horses away from the field for at least two weeks, ideally four.

Managing and composting horse manure

  • A horse weighing 1,000 pounds consumes around 2% of its body weight and excretes 10 tons of dung every year. Always adhere to the state’s regulations for storing manure. When done properly, composting keeps nutrients in the soil, speeds up the breakdown process, and destroys weed seeds and fly larvae. If there are more than one horse per two acres on a pasture, do not spread manure on the pasture. A manure management strategy should be in place in every barn.

Maintaining proper manure management is essential for responsible horse ownership, regardless of how many horses you own or manage. Farmers believe manure to be an useful source of nutrients for their soils.

Production and characteristics

The average 1,000-pound horse consumes around 2% of its total weight in food and consumes 10 to 12 gallons of water per day. This will vary according on the individual’s metabolism, degree of exercise, and the weather. On average, that same 1,000-pound horse will pass 56 pounds of manure (feces and pee combined) per day, according to the National Horsemanship Association. Each year, this amounts to more than 10 tons of waste. Fresh manure contains around 0.2 pounds of nitrogen, 0.03 pounds of phosphorus, and 0.06 pounds of potassium per pound of fresh manure (K).


Typically, manure storage comprises of the following components:

  • Stockpiling for the short time
  • Long-term stockpiling
  • Composting
  • Spreading the manure
  • Etc.

|A temporary manure storage bin that will be utilized for composting purposes. The addition of slats in the front allows for more storage. Stockpiling is the act of accumulating a large amount of solid manure and leaving it alone. You have the option of adding manure or not. Stockpiling can take place on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Temporary site

Temporary stockpiles must be removed and used within a year of being placed in storage. This enables the site to recuperate and for plants to re-grow in its natural habitat.

After then, you can build another temporary stockpile at a different location. The practice of relocating crops helps to reduce excess nutrient buildup in the soil. These locations should be chosen with care, taking into account soil type and groundwater separation.

Permanent site

Every year, permanent stockpiling takes place at the same location. These locations have an impermeable surface, such as concrete or asphalt, and are used for parking. Always check with your state’s agricultural department for current regulations on manure storage before developing or constructing a manure stack. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) specifies these standards in “Manure Stockpiling Technical Guidelines,” which may be found on their website. It is necessary to actively manage composting from the time you begin building the pile.

Pad for storing manure made of concrete.

Dumpster service

A dumpster may be more cost-effective for barns that spend a significant amount of time processing manure due to the rental and hauling fees. Dumpsters are a simple way to dispose of waste. You can load the dumpster with manure and then swap to a different dumpster when it is completely filled. Make careful you measure the need for convenience against the additional expense of renting a dumpster. The following factors will influence the sort of storage facility that is most suited for your barn.

  • The number of horses
  • The final use of the manure
  • The availability of equipment

Barns with fewer than 15 horses or horses that are pastured on a regular basis will create a little amount of manure. In this situation, compact, temporary bins or wire continuous bins are ideal options to consider. They are easy to install and are quite small and affordable to purchase. A significant volume of manure is produced in barns with 15 or more horses. Although the design and building of a facility might be expensive, it can save money in the long run in terms of labor and expenditures.

  • Increased accessibility to larger equipment
  • More durable constructions
  • Impervious footing

Contact your local county feedlot officer or MPCA feedlot contact to find out about any additional regulatory requirements that may apply prior to construction. The Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) or the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in your county may be able to assist you with the design and construction of a storage site or facility that fits your needs and requirements. Individual SWCD and NRCS offices have distinct requirements that must be met before technical help may be provided.

  • Construct a unit that will hold 6 months (or more) of storage. Make sure the front is broad enough to provide for easy access to the equipment
  • Include bucking walls for equipment to press up against in order to make collecting more efficient. It is necessary to prevent surface water, spring melt, and storm water from entering the pile. Consider using a cover, a roof, or a tarp to keep excess moisture from building up on your property. Make use of a long-lasting flooring material. Set your shop at a handy position close to the barn


Compostable source materials that have been thoroughly combined Managing composting involves the use of microorganisms to speed up the decomposition of organic waste (i.e. bacteria, fungus and molds). The purpose of the composting process is to give these bacteria with a favorable environment that promotes the breakdown of manure as quickly as possible. The following are the results of effective composting.

  • Increases the absorption of nutrients
  • Accelerates the breakdown process reduces the amount of material in the pile It is effective against weed seeds and fly larvae.

If left unattended, a manure mound will ultimately decompose, but it will lose nutrients and become infected with undesirable organisms.|

Start with a good compost site

  • Choose a place that is handy
  • Make certain that the place will not be flooded by water. Make certain that the area fits the standards for a manure accumulation site.

The greater the compost pile, the less difficult it is to keep the composting process running smoothly. Although walls are not required for the storage chamber, they will aid in the containment of the compost and the movement of air. Pallets, chicken wire, straw bales, and slatted boards can all be used as building materials for the walls.

If you allow air to circulate through perforated pipes, you can use heaps that have not been turned. Passive air can be used, or pushed air can be used via blowers. You may use the same design principles for bigger manure storage sites for smaller compost bins as you would for larger compost bins.

Get compost ingredients

These essential components are required for horse manure compost mounds.

  • Carbon sources include wood shavings, straw, sawdust, and manure. Nitrogen sources include urine, manure, fresh plant material (such as lawn clippings or weeds that have been plucked recently), and ammonium sulfate. Air: At least two-thirds of the pile’s volume should be made up of air. To fluff the carpet, use huge woodchips. When you’re finished, sift. In the case of water, it is moisture in the form of a wet but not leaking sponge. Mix thoroughly: Microbes have easier access to materials when the ingredients are more equally mixed.
You can compost:
  • Manure
  • Yard trash
  • And other organic waste The following types of kitchen garbage are acceptable: vegetable and fruit waste
  • Coffee grounds
  • Unbleached coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Eggshells
  • Bread
  • And so on. Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • And other organic matter
Don’t compost:
  • Pestilent plants*
  • Animal deaths**
  • Dog or cat feces**
  • Fats**
  • Meat**
  • Diseased plants*

* A large number of fungus and spores survive the composting process and reproduce. Including them can increase the transmission of the disease. * These can be composted by experienced composters, but the proper temperatures must be maintained.

Blend compost materials well

The process of mixing the compost provides the microorganisms with access to the nutrients they require. During the mixing process, add water until the mixture has the moisture level of a wrung out sponge. It’s difficult to distribute water evenly throughout the pile outside of the mixing process.


Maintain a close eye on the temps and re-mix the pile as needed. A well prepared mixture pile warms to between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit and maintains that warmth for three weeks. Check the temperature with a temperature probe, which you can get at a farm supply store or hardware store. If the temperature rises above 160 degrees Fahrenheit or if the temperature begins to fall, turn the pile. A lower temperature is frequently indicative of the absence of certain substances. Frequently, these heaps require more nitrogen or water.

When the compost does not heat up after mixing and the original ingredients are no longer discernible, the composting process is practically complete.

Build up a winter stockpile of manure and restart composting in the spring.

Let cool

Compost curing takes place in the last 1 to 2 months of the growing season, during which time the temperature will drop to normal levels. In terms of appearance, the completed result will be somewhere between potting soil and huge, dark brown wood chips, depending on the size of the materials used. Finer stuff composts more quickly than coarser material.


The following are some applications for finished compost.

  • Adding amendments to soil in a garden
  • Tree mulching
  • Preparing potting soil The application of fertilizer in the yard, pasture, or hay fields.

Always distribute no more than 12 inches of compost at a time when spreading compost on a lawn, pasture, or field with grazing animals.

Using manure

When spreading compost on a lawn, pasture, or hay field, never apply more than 12 inches of compost at a time. Test the soil in the field to determine how much manure will be required for the proposed crop.

  • Only enough manure should be applied to ensure a viable and maximum yielding crop is produced.

For assistance in calculating the nutritional content of manure as well as the soil and crop requirements, contact your local County Extension Office. ” Land Application of Manure: Minimum State Requirements,” a fact sheet published by the MPCA, provides more in-depth information.

Develop a manure management plan

All horse facilities should have a manure management strategy in place, which should contain the following elements:

  • Estimating yearly animal manure output
  • Estimating yearly nutrient production
  • Developing plans for collecting, managing, and storing animal dung
  • And other related activities. An emergency action plan that can be implemented swiftly in the event of an unintentional manure spill or other environmental emergency
  • If you intend to apply the manure to the land, you should also include the following items in addition to the ones listed above:
  • Estimating the annual crop nutrient use potential
  • Crop rotation is important. Land that is available for application at any time of year
  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Standard D384.2, March 2005, Revised 2014)
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, “Manure Stockpiling Technical Guidelines.”
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, “Land Application of Manure: Minimum State Requirements.”

Additional information

  • The University of Minnesota is a public research university in Minnesota. Manure Management and Air Quality
  • Hamilton, D.W., “Composting Systems for Small Horse Farms,” in Manure Management and Air Quality. On-Farm Composting Handbook, published by the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service and Rynk, R. National Agricultural and Engineering Service (NRAES) NRAES-54 is a natural resource, agriculture, and engineering service. Midwest Plan Services
  • Wegner, T., and Halback, T., 2000. Midwest Plan Services Recreational horse owners should be aware of the importance of manure and pasture management. University of Minnesota Extension
  • Wheeler, E.Horse Facilities Handbook (University of Minnesota Extension). Midwest Plan Services
  • Midwest Plan Services, Inc.

In 2021, the situation will be reviewed.

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